Phone-Ups That Lead to a Sale


On today’s episode of Straight Talk, David Lewis talks about phone-ups and gives some powerful tips for turning an incoming customer call into a sale.

Video Transcription:

Well it’s time for another episode of Straight Talk, the program that gives you straightforward information and tips on how to make a great living in the car business.  I am David Lewis the host of the show and I want to welcome you to today’s program.

If you are watching for the first time, welcome.  If you have been following us for a while, we are glad to have you with us again and we welcome your comments or questions about today’s topic or other suggestions you may have for future programs.

Today we are going to look at Phone-Ups and I will give you some powerful tips for turning an incoming customer call into a sale.   Since phone-ups are proven to be the most likely resource for connecting with a genuine buyer, it is important to know how to handle them properly in order to make the sale.

Research shows that most people who call a dealership and speak with a salesperson seeking information about a vehicle will buy a car somewhere within the next 3 days.  That alone makes the phone up a great opportunity if you know the right procedures for converting them to an appointment.

Many salespeople will ignore a call-in customer in favor of someone walking onto the lot.  This mistake can be very costly for the dealership and for the salesperson as well. However, it is important that you prepare yourself to handle phone ups or you will probably experience little success in bringing the caller in and selling them a car.

First off, nobody calls a Dealership these days just to have something to do or even to check on prices in general.  The internet gives them another way to do that. When people call they probably know what you sell and are already interested in the brand of vehicles you sell or in your dealership.

Now, where a phone ups differs from a walk-in customer is that it gives you an opportunity to work from a pre-prepared script if necessary.  If they feel comfortable speaking with you, phone up customers will often give you all you need to know about the reason for their call and the specific vehicle they are interested in purchasing.

This means that if you are well prepared to listen closely and know how to ask the right questions you will have little or no problem getting their contact information and if they say they have a vehicle to trade, their trade in specifics as well.  This gives you a good chance to make an appointment to insure they come to see you as their salesperson.

Before getting started with the call there are four phone-up rules you must keep in mind for preparing to speak with the customer, and they are:

Stand up.  Smile. Project confidence when you are speaking avoid all distractions or interruptions.

Standing up while you are talking to the customer helps you maintain clarity of mind and makes it easier to give your full attention to what the caller is saying.  It also takes your attention away from your computer screen if there is one on your desk or other things that could distract your attention away from the caller.

Psychological research has produced clear evidence that a smile, friendliness, enthusiasm and other positive emotional traits can be transferred to the listener over the telephone.  This makes these 4 Rules very important, as your initial goal is to set the customer at ease and reduce any fear or defensiveness they may feel about speaking with a car salesperson.

Just like in any Meet & Greet you want to introduce yourself and thank them for calling your dealership.  Ask for their first and last name and if they give you their full name, use it with Mr./Mrs./or Ms.

Always keep in mind that the key to bringing an initial phone-up caller to the next level is your ability to inspire them without reinforcing any fears they may already have or increasing any lack of confidence or suspicion they may already feel about talking to a professional car salesperson.

. . . . . After this short break I’ll be right back to pick up where I left off on ‘Phone Ups that Lead to a Sale’.

Welcome back to Straight Talk.  Now let’s continue with our discussion on today’s topic of ‘Phone Ups that Lead to a Sale’.

When a customer calls your dealership they generally know what you sell and that you probably have what they are looking for.  What they don’t know is what kind of a salesperson you are or how they will feel about working with you. By calling first they can get a sense of that without having to come to your dealership for a cold face to face first contact.

So how do you solicit the appointment during a phone-up call and be assured that the customer will follow through and come in as scheduled?

First, you must give the customer a reason to come in that is compelling and provokes genuine interest on their part to see what you have to offer in the way of the vehicle they are looking for.

Second, by using unique verbiage you can release the customers defensiveness and create a non-threatening sense that you are someone they would feel comfortable dealing with in their shopping process.

Avoid asking any questions that would make the customer more defensive or come across as applying pressure in any way.  Instead, use non-threatening questions and unique verbiage to catch them pleasantly off-guard and.

Here is an example of a no pressure response and the use of unique verbiage with someone calling about Leasing a Honda Accord with some specific options:  And for demonstration purposes I will play both parts, that of the Salesperson and Customer.

“Hello and thank you for calling ABC Honda, this is David speaking, how can I help you?”

I would like to get a 3-year lease payment on a base Honda Accord.

“I would be happy to help you with that.  Again, my name is David and you are Mr.?”


“Thanks for calling Mr. Smith, we do appreciate it.  To get that started I do have a few questions. First, for tax purposes, what zip code are you located in?”


“And will you be putting any money down towards the lease?”

No, just the required first payment and security deposit.

“And how many miles per year will you be driving?”


“As for the vehicle, what options must you have?”

I just want the base model.

So, if I happen to have one with a sunroof or leather seats and if it were only a few dollars more, would you rule that one out?”

No, not if it is only a few dollars more.

If I had one with a GPS or back-up camera, and if that were only a few dollars more, would you rule that one out?”

Probably not.

Is there a specific color you had in mind?”

I like darker colors like black and dark blue.

So, if I had a few that were lighter in color, but were less money, would you rule them out?”

Yes, I Probably would.

“OK Mr. Smith, there are actually quite a few Accords in our inventory that meet what you are looking for.  Please allow me to make a suggestion. We are a bit unique here at ABC Honda.  Actually, we respect the fact that you are shopping.  As a matter of fact, we encourage it.  I would like to recommend a visit to the dealership to look at all the Accords we have in stock that may meet with your satisfaction.

What we can do is make this initial visit just an informational gathering event.  You can look at all the different cars we have in stock, if a few catch your eye you can even take them for a drive, with no obligation to purchase, then before you leave please allow me to give you pricing on all those you like.  You can then take that pricing information home to consider and compare with the other vehicles you are looking at.

“I do have some time available this afternoon at 4:45; would that work for you?“

This non-threatening, no pressure response is filled with unique verbiage that most people would not expect to hear from a car salesperson.  This would set you apart in the customers mind as unique and different from most other car salespeople and would very likely get you a solid appointment.

In essence what this does is remove the fear of having to buy a car when they visit the dealership, and that is what will solidify your appointment.   Now please do not misunderstand me, when they do come to the dealership, and they do find a car they love, I am absolutely going to ask them to buy that car when they are here.  That is my job. But why would I tell them that on the phone. I would not.

Well, that is all the time we have for today.  Thanks for joining me for the broadcast and if you have any questions or comments please be sure to drop me an email at   And If you are interested in receiving any of my books at no cost to you, be sure to request that in your email and we will get them right out to you for free. So, until next time, have a great week of success and sell some cars today.